SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #15     FEBRUARY 2004

LOLA SHONEYIN

LIKE SPLIT REED AT WATERFRONT

If there was ever a night
when waves reared enraged
but with sorrowful sighs
returned to sea's dark womb,
it was that night that we stood
together like split reed swaying
in warm sand. Lovers born at noon
splayed before the lust of an irreverent moon

that night when at first we stood bare-
footed on plastic chairs
cheering on money-jostling minstrels
who beat their guitars and strummed their drums
eyes lowered in homage to the belocked minter
of melodies from Trenchtown
And how they sang for us
spurred on by the feet that spun on every seat
turning us towards the path of all the good omens
we were destined to meet

and then we walked to the tips
of Yemoja's tongue, inhaling
the sweetness of her breath
wondering if she was
named Mary, in a former life
or Jane-Jezebel of Jamaica in death 
before swelling into a pale 
billow of smoke, now whirling around
the waists of lovers on the threshold of redress,
knowing, pushing, yet unimpressed.

Was it she who pulled us into that unlikely embrace?
Coaxing us together in her consummate wisdom
teasing the hesitant mortals who stood before her?
Or was it the constellation of comfort
that graced your face,
the oscillation of words choked on,
filling the air as gulls croaked on,
oblivious of stirrings of the waist 
rustling purposefully like shuffled lace?

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Editorial Note

The Sentinel Valentine
Month Special

Poems

LOLA SHONEYIN
(Guest)
Like A Split Reed At Waterfront
Music-making
Trysexual
You Shall Love Again

JOSEF LESSER
Fragments Of a Letter Washed Ashore

EYITEMI EGWUENU
Chronicles III

NGOZI OBASI AWA
The Bee Hums Again

BARBARA REIHER-MEYERS
Valentine's Day At
The Laundromat

KODI AZUONYE
Entreaty

DURLABH SINGH
Sleep

DIKE OKORO
Cape Town

NGOZI UNIGWE
Beauty Is You

TOLULOPE OGUNLESI
Lorenzo and Maria

NNAMDI NDU
Substance Of My Dream
Whom Shall I Tell?
Remembering Old Times

Interview
NNOROM AZUONYE
My E-Conversation with
LOLA SHONEYIN

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